I am a fan of vampires. I have been ever since I was a kid when I first read Bram Stoker’s Dracula and saw the old Universal Monsters movies and Hammer films. As I grew older I became obsessed with Dracula, then with Nosferatu, then The Lost Boys. As an adult I have been treated to countless fantastic vampire film that if you have not seen, you should seek out including Shadow of the Vampire, Interview with the Vampire, Kiss of the Damned, Byzantium, Martin, Let the Right One In, Near Dark, Cronos, Thirst, 30 Days of Night and so many more. There is an extraordinary allure to the vampire and so many ways to tell the story. One interesting new twist on the genre is in the new film The Ecstasy of Isabel Mann.
Isabel (Ellen Mullen) is an average teenage until she is seduced by a violent group that turn out to be a sect of day-walking vampires. AS her involvement with the group deepens, her classmates start to go missing, attracting the attention of two local detectives. But as Isabel finds herself craving more and more kills, aided not only by the sect’s head vampire but by her long lost mother who turns out to be an early recruit of the sect, she finds everything she once held dear torn away as she becomes something else entirely.
The Ecstasy of Isabel Mann is a very low budget Irish production that really makes the most of its limited resources with great production value and a solid cast. The story is one of someone who was only looking for somewhere to feel included and appreciated yet finds herself so far into their world she actually becomes something else entirely. The vampires featured in The Ecstasy of Isabel Mann are violent creatures, not the romantic vampires of old. The story is carried off well on the shoulders of Ellen Mullen as Isabel and thanks to writer/director Jason Figgis’ eye and talent for telling an intimate yet tragic story; this low budget feature becomes elevated to something more than your average blood soaked horror film. If you dig The Ecstasy of Isabel Mann check out Figgis’ other films Once Upon a Time in Dublin and Children of a Darker Dawn. He is a great independent filmmaker well worth searching out.